Maddy was so excited that her Grandpa (Who is deaf) has come to her birthday party. Everything seems perfect, but will her baby brother (the biggest pest in the world) ruin it all?
The Greatest Birthday Gift Ever
Maddy Walker waited patiently for her favorite guest to arrive. Today was her eighth birthday and she couldn’t wait. Parker, her younger brother tried pushing her out of the way so he could look too.
“Knock it off, Park,” she said using the nickname he hated. “He’s not coming for you,” she said pushing him back. Parker was Maddy’s four-year-old brother and was the biggest pest on the planet, at least according to Maddy.
“Come on guys, be nice,” her mother said. Maddy just tapped her fingers on the window. “When is he getting here?” she asked, her eyes darting side to side.
“Just be patient, Maddy,” her mother said wiping her fingers on the bright yellow apron tied around her waist.
A few minutes later, the chug chug sound of a truck idling along, caught Maddy’s attention. “He’s here!” She jumped off the couch and ran to the door; she knew that sound anywhere. Parker ran after her. Maddy threw open the door and ran to his white beat-up ole- 57’ Chevy.
“Hey Mag Pie,” he said using his fingers to spell out her nickname. Maddy signed ‘hi’ back. He then sighed to Parker. Her grandpa Willie Walker got out of the truck, a warm smile etched at the corners of his mouth. Streaks of silver colored his hair and small wrinkles littered his face. Her grandpa and best friend, William, ‘Willie’ was her own nickname to him, Walker, was deaf. He lost his hearing in the Vietnam War and Maddy learned how to sign to him. She also never let a day go when she didn’t pray her grandpa would hear her someday. With fast fingers, he signed “Happy Birthday”. She signed, “thank you,” back and then hugged him tight. Parker then grabbed hold of the man’s leg.
“Stop it,” Maddy said pulling Parker’s fingers off his leg. “It’s my birthday, anyway. He’s here to see me,” she said and then flipped her long brunette hair. She couldn’t wait to see what Grandpa Willie had given her; he always gave her anything she wanted and a week before, she told him she wanted roller blades, so she could go off by herself without Parker tagging along. They went in the house and Grandpa hugged Maddy’s mother and then sat down in his favorite chair. He reclined it back, but suddenly, Parker flung himself up on his lap. Her grandpa smiled. “Well, aren’t you a happy, squirmy clam,” he signed and then tickled Parker.
A while later, Maddy was playing Scrabble with her grandpa; she was about to win, since she was a good speller. Her mother came in, a frown etched on her face. “Maddy have you seen Parker?” Maddy shook her head, ignoring her mom’s worried expression. She had only two more letters to make into a word and then she would win, anyway, Parker would hide anytime he got into trouble like when he was playing in the mud outside just before the family went to their grandparents house. It took them so long to find Parker and when they finally did, he was covered in mud, cowering behind a lilac bush. Every time he got into trouble, the family was always able to find him there.
“He’s probably in his hiding place,” she said and then found where her two words fit. She excitedly jumped up and down. “I win, I win!” she said. Her grandpa signed ‘good job’.
“No, he’s not there. I looked everywhere,” she said and then left. Maddy didn’t pay much attention. Her and her grandpa played one more round. This time, Grandpa Willie won. Maddy then signed to her grandpa she would be back. Humming a small tune, she opened the fridge and then froze, her wide eyes got wider. The pink box with the perfect birthday cake was gone. She slammed the fridge and looked all over the kitchen. Then she knew what happened. Her little brother couldn’t keep his grimy hands off her birthday cake. “I hate him!” she screamed.
Mom ran into the kitchen. “Maddy, what’s wrong.” Maddy bit her lip and opened the fridge; her eyebrows scrunched inwards.
“He took my cake!” Maddy shook her finger at the empty spot on the shelf. Her mother clamped her hand over her mouth. “Oh, no,” she said grabbing Maddy’s shoulders.
“He’s not in his usual hiding place. We have to find him, Maddy,” her mother said. Maddy knew she had to help find him, but she was angry. He always had to find a way to ruin her life. After looking everywhere, she could think of, Maddy walked outside. She folded her arms and began biting her fingernails. Parker was nowhere to be found. She didn’t know what else to do, so she knelt and prayed. “Please God, help Mom and I find Parker. I’m not mad at him, just worried.” She closed her prayer and stood there. Then she remembered the apple tree she used to climb, when she was scared. Maybe he’s there! She ran to the tree and heard a small whimper. She glanced up and saw him.
“Parker, we’ve been trying to find you everywhere,” Maddy said, scolding him. He cried louder and curled up in a ball. “Parker, come on, it’s okay. You need to come down now.”
“I’m sorry. I only wanted to peek. The cake fell. I knew you would be really mad,” he said rubbing his eyes. Maddy felt sorry for her little brother.
“It’s okay. I’m not mad at you. Please, you have to come down,” she said, squinting up at him.
“I can’t get down, Maddy. I’m scared.” Maddy knew she couldn’t reach Parker.
“Wait here, Parker. Hold on tight. I’m going to get mom.” Maddy ran back to the house and yelled for her mom. “Come quick! I found Parker.”
Where?” she said, following Maddy.
“He’s in the apple tree. He’s stuck up there,” Maddy said, her voice trembling.
The two went outside and Mom saw Parker; she then began to climb. Just then, Grandpa came outside and ran towards the tree. He signed Maddy’s mom to come down and then began to swiftly climb the tree. They both watched Grandpa. How did he know? Maddy thought. She was amazed by the strength of her grandpa, as he reached Parker and gathered him in his arms. He carefully climbed back down. When he got down, Maddy’s mother had tears in her eyes as she hugged both Parker and Maddy’s grandpa.
“How did you know?” Maddy signed the letters. He smiled and signed, “You told me, through your prayer,” he said and then winked at her. She didn’t understand, and then she realized God answered both of her prayers. Even though he couldn’t hear with his ears, Maddy’s grandpa was able to hear with his heart.
To Maddy, Parker was safe, and that was a great gift, but having Grandpa hear her with his heart, even though he couldn’t hear with his ears, was the greatest birthday gift ever.